Helloween "Gambling With The Devil" Gatefold 2LP CLEAR vinyl
1. Crack The Riddle
2. Kill It
3. The Saints
4. As Long As I Fall
5. Paint A New World
6. Final Fortune
7. The Bells Of The Seven Hells
8. Fallen To Pieces
10. Can Do It
12. Heaven Tells No Lies
Plaadi pikkus: 57:33
Saksa power metali kuningad on tagasi! Helloween on suutnud ületada kõik raskused oma rohkem kui 20-aastase karjääri jooksul ning üllitanud kamaluga heviklassikasse raiutud klassikalisi albumeid. Kas ka 2007. aastal ilmavalgust näinud "Gambling..." nendega ühte ritta satub, on veel vara öelda, kuid plaat on vaieldamatuks maiuspalaks kõigile Helloweeni ja meloodilise heavy metali sõpradele!
If anything is true about Helloween, if you’re a power metal fan, purchasing their albums is a hardly a gamble in the sense of risking a disappointment. More than 20 years at their craft and not only have they kept pace with all of their off-shoots and surviving contemporaries, but have almost always surpassed them in both quality and quantity. The dichotomy between quality and quantity does not exist for the band in their songwriting either, as they have proven capable at crafting longwinded epic songs and albums and also shorter opuses with a greater emphasis on speed and aggression.
“Gambling with the Devil” carries a strong sense of irony as it is mostly (though not completely) similar to the famed 2000 masterpiece “The Dark Ride”, an album which Michael Weikath is not a particular fan of and that caused the disintegration of Helloween’s 1990s line-up. The songs are a good deal rawer than the last 2 albums, shorter in length, and rely on mostly conventional structures. The longest song on here just barely breaks the 7 minute mark, although the band has opted to avoid putting out a sub 3 minute single like they did on the last one. Another interesting thing is that there isn’t any corky humor on here like there was on the last 2.
On the last album Markus Grosskopf was almost the dominating musical force on the album, sporting bass solos on almost every song or basslines so active that they fought the guitar for prominence. Here he has decided to step back and give the guitars the stage, and both Michael and Sascha tear it up with a solid balance of brevity and majesty. Just one listen to the lead section of “The Saints” will take you back to the glory days of Kai and Michael trading blows on the first Keeper album.
Although not quite the epic monster that the 3rd Keeper album was, this release compensates with a simple yet flawless approach to pacing, which is go for the jugular and keep on slashing until you can’t keep your arms raised. There is a brief prologue at the beginning, but the minute that “Kill it” kicks in with that killer repetitive riff you know you’re in for the heavier side of the power metal coin. Even the quicker paced speed metal tracks like “The Saints” and “Paint a New World” have chunky low end riffs that almost rival the ballsy sound that Nocturnal Rites achieved with 7 string guitars on “Shadowland”.
Even the lighter end songs are colored with a sense of darkness and discontent that is a bit atypical of Helloween’s previous works, save “The Dark Ride”. The album’s single “As Long as I Fall” opts out of the catchy piano line of “If I Could Fly” and the lyrical slapstick of “Mrs. God” and listens like a bi-polar story of a person’s self-destruction. The piano line and vocal effects are not so much somber as they are a bit creepy, creating a sense of neuroticism with the happy yet ironic sounding chorus. The only song that really seems to embody the happier side of Helloween, and again not 100% consistently is “Can Do It”, which is the most rock-like of the album’s chapters.
This is an album that every power metal fan should have, let alone every fan of Helloween, especially to those of you who have been a bit let down by some of the other releases that came out of 2007. There has been sort of a 3 way competition between Helloween and the band’s of its two former axe men Gamma Ray and Masterplan since 2003. Although Gamma Ray really kicked back hard this year and Masterplan didn’t fall that far despite the loss of Jorn, Helloween has again come out on top of the fray. The only album that came out this year that I would say is better than this one, and just barely, is Symphony X’s “Paradise Lost”. As stated before, you don’t risk much in power metal if you stick to Helloween, and here the pay off is quite better than what you get at any casino.